This question is asked more than any other regardless if it’s online or meeting people in person. People have been convinced through ads, second-hand conversations, and the idea of sitting at home in your pajamas churning out cash from your blog that this is true and easy to set up. I have to recognize that people do make money from blogging, however, they are the few among tens of thousands who try. If you solely blog and do nothing else you may make a couple dollars per month by including Google Adsense to your site. Google will pay you $100USD, which is the minimum payout amount, and then the check heads out assuming that all is good and your account is legitimized.
I tried this in 2004 when I thought it would be cool to blog and get my site seen. I placed the Google ads in the sidebar and other places hoping that people would click them.
You have to remember that as a new site it takes a lot of effort to be indexed in search, and social wasn’t anything close to what it is today. It’s a common myth that a new site will take 6-12 months before being properly indexed and have organic search results pointing to the site. This means that in at least the first 6 months you have to churn out endless content to get people on the site and clicking ads.
After the first 6 months, and about 120 posts, I had finally made the coveted $100USD mark and I was excited to finally get the check. Almost immediately, Google banned my account and said it had click fraud and the money would never be sent to me. Mind you, I never clicked my own links or anything else that would make this ban legit. I had no appeal and no chance to regain my account and since then I have advocated against using Adsense and I don’t support Google’s ecosystem. I realize that this makes me look like I am pouting, but remember, for 6 months Google had my site to place their ads on and I received nothing except for canned responses to my emails. The point is that if this is how you plan to work at home and make money then please don’t.
I shared my story to emphasize that depending on third-party sources that deliver ads to fund your soon-to-be empire is absolutely dangerous. If that isn’t enough to deter you from thinking that advertisers will create income for you then you should research uBlock (uBlock Origins – Chrome | Firefix). I do promote uBlock Origin because it’s open source and the others out there use their addon as ransom. I use this when surfing and I hope that ads disappear from the net and those websites that depend on it can figure out a better way to be relevant. I don’t care if you use an ad blocker here because I wrote ads off after the Adsense ordeal, and recent studies are showing sites that depend on advertising revenue have seen a 40% reduction and higher in month-to-month comparisons year after year.
How Do You Make Money Blogging
You can make money so don’t sweat the above negativity towards ads. I have a deep belief that so many have relied on ads that no one knows how to make money without them. We can break that mold and I have seen more websites break the mold this year than ever before. Ad blocking is not going away and eventually it’s going to be installed on everything. So let’s discuss a way forward. I am going to outline this in bullet format to keep the ideas separated.
- Sell merch and if you have to do this using teespring then so be it. People will wear your name and design so you get free promotion and a sale.
- Patreon is a great place to start a page and offer rewards for monthly contributions.
- Ask for a donation and present your PayPal button in the content if need be.
- Subscription-based website with a paywall. Hopefully your site is that good.
- Run sponsored spots in your weekly email marketing campaigns.
- Sell a service. On this site people can hire me and my team to work on your brand.
- Offer a coaching service. People can book me for a block of time to discuss anything.
- Affiliate marketing allows you to put a link to another site that gives you credit for a sale.
Blogging can offer a lot more opportunities than just a podcast show or a YouTube video. I would strong advocate for using all kinds of media to create content. Please don’t confine yourself to only use blog posts. You need to create infographics, podcasts, YouTube video and anything else such as Blab, Periscope and social media. The more places and types of content you create the more opportunity you have to do this full time. Using the content stacking strategy is so important to open all the doors instead of just one. You can take the above list and multiple it across all the other places you can be.
Making money online isn’t easy and I know there are many videos and people that will brag about the 4-hour work week and while possible, not many can truly do it. Some even feast on those that want it so they purchase a coaching package for hundreds of dollars and it just makes more money for the creator. Same with mastermind groups. Stay away and search for Facebook groups, Twitter conversation and so on. You don’t need to pay to learn this stuff unless it’s a donation to support.
I created a video about how to make money in podcasting and a lot of that video applies here in this post. My goal was to give podcast shows the realistic view searching for an advertiser that will give them $30 for a read is crazy. Podcasters are like bloggers in the sense that many don’t know how to make money other than ads. The below video is about 30-mins long so bare with it if you have the time.
How-to Not Make Money
Let’s also discuss how you can quickly not make money while blogging. I will keep this short because it could go on for days. Write low-quality blogs, use a third-party website like Blogger, or podcast with the worst microphone ever are good ways to not make anything. If you think cutting corners on any part of your content creation process is going to help you then you are wrong. Do not cut your nose off despite your face. You have to invest in your platform and offer something that others aren’t. This could be as simple as adding a weekly podcast that compliments your blog. It could also be the other way around if you are podcasting but have no website.
The fastest way to never make money is to only do one thing, and do it in an average way that allow other sites to crush you as a source that no one cares about. I will also add that having garbage images or an unappealing website will quickly devalue your content. You image counts at all times.
If you buy a “turnkey” solution because the site said it can just make money, you just got taken advantage of. There are a lot of affiliate sites and other pages on the internet that have one goal in mind, to separate you from your wallet. They exist because it works and they know many people are searching for the holy grail of a money printing blog. I am trying to point out that making money online is not easy, blogging is not easy, and you have to dig in and create a lot of content that people care about. It takes a lot of energy…
What Do You Need?
If you made it this far into the post I would assume you think I am reasonable. I want to make money online too and if this blog ever allows me to do that then I will be a very happy man. I refuse to but ads on my sites is because I believe in uBlock and because my content is worth more to me. Ads work for some, but never for the masses.
You should be thinking about how to broaden your reach and create content that people like, share, and hopefully they tell you what they like and don’t like so you can adjust. You have to have your own hosting, your own site, and your own original content just to blog. That is the minimum to be somebody. Care about your look, your niche, and connect with people on social. These are short points for you to take an inventory of where you are and where you can add new things to provide what I refer to as “content surface area”.
The “content surface area” is the entire scope of your content and reach and how you can take advantage of to make money from. I will break this down in a future blog post to show you what I mean about this. The more “surface” you offer someone with money the more you make them consider buying more from you. Think of a rock, a small one. If you wanted to draw a smiley face onto it it would have to be a small one that no one will really see. If you have a boulder to do the same you would be able to draw a huge smiley face that a lot of people will see. Hopefully that gives you and idea about what I mean when I mention “content surface area”.
Go make content, and everything else you need and become someone that people know. Become somewhat popular on social and leverage that. If you can make inroads in these platforms then you can make money. If you combine your blog with lots of affiliate marketing links then you can also make money. It’s out there for the taking, but at the end of the day it’s about what you can produce and why people care. Best wishes on your road to financial freedom!